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Cherry Cobbler (5 of 12)Heralding the end of the season, the price of cherries dropped suddenly a couple of weeks ago. Given that I had a virgin cherry stoner, purchased on the last French holiday, I thought it time to lay my hands on half a kilo of these delectable treats. The plan was to prepare a simple Cherry Cobbler. A quick trawl of the Internet, revealed thousands of recipe options. As is my way, I decided to meld a number of these into something approaching a reasonable concoction.

Apricot Tart Tatin You know the story. A beautiful girl from the slums of some south American dive wins the Miss World contest and her life is transformed. She goes from washing herself and her impoverished sisters and brothers in an abandoned oil drum to starring in Maxx Factor commercials and bathing in goat’s milk. The little darling spends days modelling top fashion and sipping Evian water. Mercedes insist on her driving around in one of their better small saloons. When she is not being gainfully employed, she is entertained by those at the apex of the social pyramid. That’s how it’s meant to be…. With this as the backdrop, I hear you muse; “Since winning two coveted prizes in 2013 Blog Awards, what has changed in your life Conor?”

Upside-down Mango CakeA while ago, I prepared a fig tart tatin. That worked pretty well for a first attempt. In fact, it worked extremely well. With the enthusiasm of the first time lucky, I decided it would be a good idea to try another dessert. I had a spare mango in the fruit bowl and the tatin success had me thinking of upside-down desserts. 

Meuringue CakeIt hurts me to write this post. I feel like I am putting another nail in my blogging coffin. You see, this post has me acting as “you’re in my way in the kitchen” photographer while the Wife prepares a recipe given to her by my revered mother-in-law. The real problem for me is that it is the dessert course of our multi-blog meal where we cooked along with Stefan on his and Kees trip to Tipperary. That is only a problem because my best efforts were knocked into a pretty degrading and distant third place.

Fig Tart TatinI do a moderately good job on the photos. Well, I have reached the stage in my development (pun intended) that I know how much I don’t know. I know my known knowns. I have a good idea of the known unknowns. I know there probably are some unknown unknowns too. But, I’ll leave it there for fear of turning into the Donald Rumsfeld of the food blogging community. Let me show you my Fig Tart Tatin instead.

Rhubarb FoolYes, I am fooling around again. Earlier in the year, I gave rhubarb fool a go. I liked it but there were a couple of niggles. My previous rhubarb fool was pretty tasty, pretty good in all respects.  But, perhaps it could have been lighter, Perhaps it could have been rhubarbier (new word). Perhaps I need to completely rethink the idea of the fool. So, it’s time to fool you twice, if you don’t mind.

Banana BreadThere is an old saying that predates the digital era; ‘the camera never lies.’ Any of you who have even a passing knowledge of Adobe Photoshop (it’s not a Mexican film processor btw) will know that time has passed that particular adage by. The camera is an almost compulsive teller of half-truths and worse. I relay this to you because I had a small amount of trouble when I decided to use up some festering fruit and bake a Banana and Walnut Bread. It was my first go and as regular readers know, not everything I try works out perfectly on the first attempt. 

Peach MelbaIs this true classical cooking? While I cooked my first paté (and the second smooth one) and served it with Toast Melba, my Mum reminded me that Toast Melba, just like Peach Melba is named for Dame Nellie Melba, the hugely successful Australian Soprano. The paté (and the Toast Melba) turned out very well. So, I resolved to prepare the Peach Melba for Mum (and the rest of us) and show it to you all. It’s a really simple dish to prepare. You can do this while listening to Puccini’s La bohèmeIt is one opera that can, and often does, bring me to tears.

Panacotta and Rasberry Coulis (10 of 11)

I have my moments. Normally, I am a pretty forgiving kind of guy. But, there are the days when the blood sugars are low and the sleep quota is less than it should be. My normal placid aura becomes a dangerous, seething cauldron of raw intolerance. Old ladies, who on another day might well be helped across the road run the risk of having the walking sticks kicked from their arthritic grasp. That casually dropped cigarette butt gets dropped back in the window of the offenders car. And, God help the errant dog-walker who does not clear up after their pooch. Yes, I have days when I can be totally hard-assed.

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